The Real Cowboy Dad ( Part 1)

Daddy and Mama married young but Cowboy Dad was probably a little older than he was in this photo.

Like his father before him and a long line of grandfathers, Daddy was a farmer and rancher. He might have been the first cowboy in our family.

Daddy always took his non-farm activities seriously. The first I remember, flying lessons. About once a week, a small airplane would land in the alfalfa field near our house. Daddy would climb aboard and fly away under the tutelage of his instructor. I was pretty young, maybe five, and I remember talk about Daddy’s solo flight and shortly after that, the small two-seater stopped landing in our alfalfa field and Daddy’s flying days ended.

I later learned the story from my mom — not sure if it was the first solo flight or one shortly thereafter — But it seems that Daddy got a little over-confident and buzzed our house. I think I remember standing on the front porch during the fly-over. As it turned out, something happened that Mama and I couldn’t see as he flew over… Mama said he scared himself… and Daddy never flew again. Instead of becoming a Flying Dad, Daddy turned to riding and roping… [amazon_link id=”B00BEKDP8E” target=”_blank” ]Cowboy Dad [/amazon_link].

In real life, the rope that sailed through the air and grabbed Little Brother and me round the middle was real, not imaginary. Most of the time, Daddy used a cotton rope in the house. It was a fun time for Little Brother and me. In fact, it’s one of my favorite memories. But, one day, Daddy came in from ridin’ and ropin’ with a real rope in his hand. Of course Little Brother and I were ready for play. We dashed across the front yard, yipping and yelling. “You can’t catch me! You can’t catch me!” Daddy couldn’t resist the challenge and he let the rope fly…

…Just about the time Mama stepped out the door. “Don’t you dare put rope burns on those kids!” She shrieked. I think our fun ended right then although Little Brother and I weren’t ready to stop. I don’t remember anything about any rope burns… well, not much. A rope does scrape as it slides down the side of one’s neck. What I remember most is that it was really fun Although we anticipated the whirring rope sailing through the air… And, we were ready. I’m pretty sure it was a gentle toss.  Daddy wasn’t ready to face Mama’s wrath… She could get madder than an old wet hen when the thought her chicks were in danger.

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